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Last week I spent four different and exciting days – in Milan. I have been studying Restorative Exercise with Katy Bowman and my mentor, Galina Denzel, for one year. This week there was a workshop which is part of the certification program. I left for Milan and was a little nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I have never been a fan of sitting all day, absorbing information. I am one of those people who experience themselves and their lives through movement and the thought of sitting still in a confined space kills me – slowly and certainly.

Milan and I are in a complex relationship with each other. This is the city where I suffered my last and most severe injury 8 years ago and that was when my dreams of being a professional athlete were smashed to pieces. I decided I would go there with the idea of making new memories and a new impression of the city.

Luckily I was not alone. Ivaylo came with me and I know that when he’s around, everything happens the way I want it to. It’s good to know that someone knows what matters to you, what your priorities are and helps you follow your chosen path.


Italy is a wonderful place and I got excited as soon as I had gotten off the plane. I graduated from an Italian language school and even though I don’t practice the language, I understand everything – I just keep mum. Well, I can order coffee and a steak! What more does a person need? 😀


Since I am planning a long blog post, I am going to divide it in two. The first part is going to deal with the workshop and the second part – with Zlati and the wonderful people I met. So you can read selectively or come back to the blog a couple of times.

Milan and “The Somanauts who met at MYDNA”


This is our code name. Hilary named us “somanuats”. What does that word mean? “Somanauts” – just as astronauts explore Outer Space, a somanaut is a person who is devoted to exploring the inner space of the human body. You are probably also wondering who that Hillary is! Hillary is one of the most inspiring and energetic people I have met recently. She was our mentor and the person who made sure that we, in the course of two days, would explore every nook and cranny of the human body and muscles and she also made sure to kindle an even stronger desire in us to learn, get to know our bodies and then use this knowledge to help people align and repair their own bodies.

Before I went to Milan, I knew life was in the details. I knew movement was in the details and if most people have a superficial understanding of movement, restorative exercise explores everything down to the smallest detail.



The best thing about the workshop were the people. There’s some sort of magical feeling when a group of people who have the same vision of life come together. It is as if their passion creates some kind of energy that elevates everybody and endows our mission with even more power. We all go there filled with a desire to improve, and we leave eager to improve others too – to pass on what we learned. In places like this one finds the missing pieces of oneself. There were 12 of us and we were so different outwardly. Professionals in various areas – yoga teachers, doctors, physiotherapists, conditioning coaches, masseurs etc. People aged 25-64. If you read the bios, at first you might wonder how these different people can be brought together and interact in such a perfect way.


In reality our differences only brought us closer together. We all shared the same values and the same vision of life. We were looking in the same direction, only from different places. When everyone is standing round a sphere and looking at it from a different angle, everyone shares their points of view, when they come together, and the end result is a whole which is complete. That was exactly what happened to us.

The best thing about the workshop was that it did not meet my expectations of boring, monotonous cramming of information.

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The workshop included a lot of movement – walks during which we explored movement, gait, our environment and how we can interact with it and use it to maintain and build up our health instead of allowing the environment to ruin our health. At the end of the day we are the product of our environment. It is a whole new experience being surrounded by 11 more people who do not find it strange to sit on the ground, roll around in different positions while working; walk on the edge of the sidewalks or stand on one foot at the traffic lights so you can train your balance; hang from pull-up bars or stretch in public transport vehicles; wait for someone in a squatting position or walk barefoot in the city park; bring your own homemade food or speak passionately about the push-off phase of gait while climbing hills or activating your posterior chain while descending; request a pelvis as a birthday gift or wear peculiar toe shoes.

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Moments like these inspire you and show you that you are not abnormal or weird, but just different. They show you that there are other people who study the human body with the same passion as you and believe that the modern way of life can be different and that we shouldn’t put up with illnesses, pain and discomfort, but should regard them as symptoms that we are straying away from ourselves and our nature. They show you that there are other adults who live like children – they walk barefoot on lawns, climb trees and merge with nature instead of shunning it.

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One blog post would not be enough for me to describe what each and every one of the people at the workshop gave me, but I am grateful I met them. I am grateful I had the opportunity to absorb this information in such an easy and relaxed way. I am grateful that Katy, Hillary, Galya and everyone who’s helping this mission spread around the world find a way to naturally kindle our desire to get to know our body and its needs; to find appeal in simple things, to be fascinated by the details and deepen our relationship with nature. And the best teachers are not the ones that lecture you, but the ones that lead by example. Katy, Hillary and Galya are this kind of teachers. They do not lecture, they lead us.


Milan, Zlati and the wonderful people I met


In Milan we didn’t spend our time at a hotel. Zlati invited us to stay at her home instead. She has three Italian housemates, but two of them were out of town, so we took their place. 🙂

Movement and quality food are among my priorities. I am not one of those people who would compromise with their beliefs; the people who look for an excuse because they can’t do something or the people who shape themselves to other people’s beliefs. I am not afraid to assert myself even when people do not accept me. For me even travelling means the same thing – to move, to eat as I see fit and not compromise with myself and the way my body feels. Still, before we left, I was a little worried we would not be staying at a hotel, because when you’re a guest, it is not so appropriate to do as you please. The very moment Zlati met us all my worries vanished. She was so kind and hospitable. First we went for a walk around Milan, then we took the public transport and stopped by at her home so we would leave our luggage. Then we headed for the supermarket, but before that Zlati took the most important thing – the shopping cart where we would put our purchases.

I have no idea why the people I work with who live in Italy tell me they have no way of eating healthy. I will accept no more excuses. I was captivated the moment I walked into the supermarket. There were so many fruits and vegetables and especially my favorite blueberries for which I wouldn’t hesitate moving to Italy.

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We made a delicious dinner and it’s always nice when everyone cooks together. Then Zlati put the refrigerator and the stove at my disposal, so I could prepare my food for the next day and the workshop. That was what we did all days, and the next evening we got together with Zlati, Stefano (her boyfriend) and Francesco (one of her housemates). Zlati made the tastiest roasted vegetables and Ivaylo was in charge of the steaks. Meanwhile I was doing yoga 🙂 And don’t you dare think I am lazy. I usually don’t do that, but after spending 10 hours at the workshop, I really needed some time for myself and as I said jokingly, Ivaylo and I were not a typical couple – the guy cooked and the lady worked out.

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The dinner was very nice – the time spent with different people and the conversations – they make you feel alive. I am so happy we stayed at Zlati’s place, because it allowed us to experience life in Italy. Hotels are the same everywhere, but if you want to get to know a country, you need to mingle with the people who live there. Zlati lives in a distant and very green neighborhood and that changed all my ideas of Milan. In the past Milan used to repel me with the kitsch downtown and all the shops. There’s nothing wrong about shops, but I am one of those people who like walking barefoot, dressing simple and having grass, sky and birds around. Well, thanks to Zlati I learned that you shouldn’t judge a city by its downtown area. 🙂

Francesco and Zlati told me how they tried to open a coconut with a lot of tools and I told them that opening a coconut is a matter of 10-15 seconds. We bought a coconut and that night I gave them a brief demonstration on how to open a coconut. It was a lot of fun.


I would like to thank Zlati who is one of the most incredible and down-to-earth people I know. She is a graphic designer and extremely talented. Actually, she is the person to whom I have dedicated my most popular recipe – the one for the “Kala” pancake cake, so when you make that, you should know that the recipe tastes so good, because it is dedicated to an extraordinary person.

Thank you for your patience, kindness and care. Thank you for the way you made us feel, for accepting a demanding person like me so well and for everything you are. I now love Milan and it’s thanks to you.


Палачинковата торта Кала :)
Палачинковата торта Кала 🙂

I would like to thank Zlati who is one of the most incredible and down-to-earth people I know. She is a graphic designer and extremely talented. Actually, she is the person to whom I have dedicated my most popular recipe – the one for the “Kala” pancake cake, so when you make that, you should know that the recipe tastes so good, because it is dedicated to an extraordinary person.

Thank you for your patience, kindness and care. Thank you for the way you made us feel, for accepting a demanding person like me so well and for everything you are. I now love Milan and it’s thanks to you.

Палачинковата торта Кала :)
The blueberry pancake cake Kala 🙂

I love travelling. Sometimes travelling is a challenge, but it always helps you get to know yourself better. It felt nice walking around the city without Internet, with an ordinary map, and feeling like an explorer or rather experiencing independence and the strength of a human when they are alone and faced with the necessity to find their way about – to survive, if you will. I think we’ve become quite lazy and sluggish and have delegated our intelligence and logic to technologies and that leaves a void inside us which makes us suffer every day. But a human is happy when they feel strong, independent and free – even from phones, gadgets, GPS and the like.

Travelling illuminates one part of your being which cannot be revealed, when you’re in your everyday, routine, controlled environment. It allows you to step aside and see your life and yourself in a different way. You are one person, when you leave Bulgaria, and you come back seemingly the same, but totally different inside.

Thank you, Italy! J


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You can see more pictures from Milano and the Workshop here.

Ако статията ви е харесала, споделете я с приятелите си. Благодаря, че помагате да достигне до повече хора.

Ines Subashka

Инес Субашка е основател на IFS - зали за кондиционни тренировки и мобилност. Автор е на 6 книги за здравословно хранене и движение.

Ела да тренираш в някоя от залите ни

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